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March 10, 1997 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-10

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 10, 1997

HOCKEY

Botterill's recent scoring
makes a prophet of Laurion

By Andy Knudsen
Daily Sports Writer
At the CCHA preseason luncheon in September,
Alaska-Fairbanks coach Dave Laurion said, "It's
hard to tell a guy that's 5-10, 175 pounds,'Don't get
outmuscled in front of the net by Jason Botterill."'
Laurion probably didn't realize how prophetic his
words were - as Michigan's 6-foot-4, 217-pound
left wing helped end the Nanooks' season this
weekend by single-handedly outscoring them, 6-1,
in a two-game series.
Botterill has been etching his name all over the
scoresheets recently.
After he notched his third hat trick of the season
last Sunday during Michigan's 7-4 victory at Ohio
State, the senior scored two goals and an assist
Friday, and four goals and an assist Saturday.
Saturday's hat trick was the ninth of his career-
one short of tying the school record.
Botterill's 34 goals lead the team, and his second-
half surge is reminiscent of last season, when he
scored 22 of his team-high 32 goals after Jan. 6.
"In the middle of February, I was in a bit of a
slump," Botterill said. "I think I was almost satis-
fied being a mediocre player - just going through
the motions, not playing with a lot of emotion.
"Since I've been put back (on the top line) with
(Brendan) Morrison and (Bill) Muckalt, I've been
real excited about coming to practice, and playing
in the games. A lot of my goals are just driving the
net, and they're making some great passes to me."
In thq last four games since the Botterill,
Morrison and Muckalt line was re-established,
Botterill has 10 goals and three assists.

"i think since Muckalt came back from that
injury, that's really helped that line get going,"
Michigan coach Red lBerenson said. "Billy's mak
ing some good plays, taking some of the pressure
off Morrison."
Most of Botterill's goals come from within a fcWO
feet of the net, where the assistant captain can use
his size to get open for a pass or outmuscle the
defenders for a rebound. All four of his goals
Saturday came from point-blank range.
"It used to be when he got tied up he'd kind of"
fight the guy," Berenson said. "Now he pivots away
gets back in position, gets his stick on the ice. So he,
works hard at getting open for either Brendan a'
Billy. And he's a big guy to stop in front of the net?'
But Botterill showed his versatility Friday, as he
scored from the high slot and out near the blue line
"He does a lot of things that a goal scorer does,"
Berenson said. "He has his stick on the ice, he gets
his shot away quick, and lie scores different kinds of
goals.
"That's kind of the evolution of a collee hockey
player - when they come in they're pretty good
players and when they leave they should be great
players. And Botterill is exactly that, he's a domi-
nant player right now."
Botterill's third goal Saturday was his 100th
career goal, and he is now tied with Neil Celley foo
seventh on the Michigan career list.
"I'm a player where I can't really create a lot of
scoring chances for myself," he said. "i have to rely
a lot on my centermen. It's a special mark to hit in
my mind but a lot of the credit has to go to the peo-
ple I played with here."~

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
Jason Botterill made the bench congratulations line a routine occurrance this weekend in Michigan's
two victories over Alaska-Fairbanks. An assistant captain, Botterill recorded his 100th career tally
among his six goals. He also was honored with a spot on the CCHA All-Academic team.

Octopi replace vulgarities in student-less weekend at Yost

By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Writer
It was a different breed of crowd this week-
end at Yost Ice Arena.
The students' season-ticket packages ended
with the Lake Superior series two weeks ago,
and the crowd for the first round of CCHA
playoff action featured a much different, much
older fan base.
Absent was the usual cowbell-ringer and
most of the regular students of the center-ice
cheering section. Gone, for the most part, were
their vulgar post-penalty taunts.
In their places were the octopi.
Perhaps it's because the NHL's Detroit Red
Wings are out West on a two-week-long road
trip.
Whatever the reason, the unofficial mascot
of Detroit's professional hockey team made a
double appearance in Saturday night's 11-0
Michigan victory over Alaska-Fairbanks.
After Warren Luhning's second goal of the

night - just 14 seconds into the third period
- made the score 6-0, a pair of octopi were
tossed onto the ice from the stands.
A linesman deposited one of the slimy sea
creatures into the visitors'
penalty box, but Michigan
senior John Madden gathered
the other with his stick and
poked it toward team trainer
Ian Hume.
Hume, understandably,
wanted no part of the eight-
legged echinoderm.
"If it had been a 2-2 score I
wouldn't even have noticed
the octopus on the ice," Madden said. "But I
was just trying to lighten the situation up a lit-
tle bit."
It took another 2:50 - and goals by Justin
Clark and Madden -- for public address
announcer Glen Williams to collect his wits
and make an announcement regarding the

Motown delicacy. He asked the crowd to
refrain from throwing anything on the ice, cit-
ing the hazards to the skaters and the delay in
the game.
Exactly 56 seconds later, the ice was show-
ered with headgear in one of the most spirited
hat-trick celebrations of the season, after Jason
Botterill scored his third goal of the game.
it just goes to show: just because they're old,
it doesn't mean they're well behaved.
FAN FAVES: The Michigan Athletic
Department released the results for the 1972-
97 Michigan all-time hockey team this week-
end. A six-player team was selected by the fans
who voted during January and February games
at Yost, as well as over the Internet.
From a total of 1,169 ballots, Brendan
Morrison led all recipients with 882 votes.
Denny Felsner and Brian Wiseman are the
other forwards, with a combined 793 votes
between them.
The defense is made up of '95-'96 captain

Steven Halko (the second-highest vote-getter
with 586) and current Wolverine Harol
Schock.
All-time NCAA victory leader Steve Shields
edged current Michigan netminder Marty
Turco by 41 votes for the goaltender spot.
Other current Michigan players on the ballof
included Madden, who received 18 fewer votes
than Wiseman and Botterill.
CROWD FAVES: In the final game at Yost until
next season, the Michigan hockey pep band
was paid tribute by the team after the 11-0 vic*
tory.
The players bowed and raised their sticks to
thank the band after the final horn, and the
crowd responded with a standing ovation.
The band was even named the game's No. 2
star, contradicting the season-long claims of
several opposing coaches, each of whom
refused to acknowledge that the band, of all
things, truly could have an impact on the game
at Yost.

Alaska spilled by 'M'

I I

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
Alaska-Fairbanks coach Dave
Laurion was not bothered by the taunts
of the Yost Ice Arena faithful, but he
had every reason to be.
The Nanooks came back all year
long and made the CCHA playoffs in
only its second season as an official
member of the league - an outstand-
ing accomplishment for the distant
school. But the Michigan fans hardly
seemed to care.
"Season's over" and "warm up the
sled" were the final chants Alaska
heard. Each reminded the Nanooks
they were just another victim in
Michigan's reign of dominance.
But the_
scoreboard'
alone could
have done that.
The com-
bined total of
the three
matchups at
Yost between
the teams this
season w as 32- l2i g
2. Michigan
could lose the second digit on that
score and still have beaten Alaska-
but that was to be expected.
What was unexpected was that
Alaska was even in Ann Arbor to begin
with.
It is the never-quit attitude of
Laurion and his team - and that is
why the Nanooks were still playing
Saturday.
Perseverance served as the rallying
cry for Alaska all season long and
entering their last period, the never-say-
die attitude was still in effect.
"One of our goals in the third period
was to outshoot Michigan," Laurion
said. "We knew we weren't going to
score six goals, but we wanted to win
the period. You've got to find some-
thing good out of a game you're not
going to win."
through C

Down 5-0 entering the period, their
dignity was about all the Nanooks
could salvage from the last 20 minutes.
The game ended in an 11-0 drubbing
at the hands of the defending national
champions - and the Michigan fans
wouldn't let the visitors forget it.
The season began for the Nanooks
without respect and, despite this week-
end's result, ended with a sense of
accomplishment.
Even before the season started,
Alaska was in a hole. Both the CCHA
coaches and the media pegged the
Nanooks to finish 10th in the league.
In a 10-team conference, that was
hardly the confidence boost Laurion
wanted, but with his home rink many
states away from the closest CCHA
city, victories could be his only retort.
Tragedy struck early when defense-
man Erik Drygas injured his spine at
practice.
Five early-season losses at home left
Alaska looking up at the rest of the
league and the Drygas distraction
proved to be the reason why.
"This year's tough to judge because
of how difficult our start was," Laurion
said, "We had Erik getting hurt and that
got us off to a real tough start.'
But the team responded and slowly
scored road victories over first-division
CCHA programs.
"We have a very difficult travel
schedule and a very difficult schedule
within that," Laurion said. "I've got to
worry more about how to beat Ferris
State, Miami and Western Michigan,
and we were certainly very competitive
in those games."-
Wins on the road at Michigan State,
Western Michigan and Bowling Green
proved to be enough to put Alaska
within shouting distance of the eighth
and final playoff spot heading into its
final three games.
The team responded to the challenge
and went 2-0-1 in a series against Ferris
State to close out the regular season
and secure the final playoff spot.

Sophomore forward Justin Clark corrals the puck in time to score one of his two goals Saturday.
- * -- U A~ U

With that position came the unfortu-
nate distinction of facing No. 1
Michigan, but making the playoffs with
all of the adversity this season was an
achievement in itself.
"If you take away the (13-1) game
we played against Michigan" in Ann
Arbor, Laurion said. "We were (close)
in every game.
"1'm proud of our program and
proud of our team."
Proving the prognosticators wrong
was satisfying, Laurion said.
"We were predicted (to finish)
tenth and ended up eighth and, other
than Miami, I don't think there was
anyone who jumped two spots higher
than they were predicted to finish," he
said.

The finish is a testament to Alaska.
Over and over again this season,
resiliency proved crucial. And each
time adversity struck, the Nanooks
bounced back.
What Michigan coach Red Berenson
noticed was how the Nanooks held
their heads high, even in defeat.
"They played with some class and
dignity," he said. "They weren't com-
ing here to embarrass themselves."
As Michigan's calendar predicted
before the season began, the home sea-
son ended Saturday.
As no one predicted for Alaska
before the season began, the whole sea-
son ended Saturday.
And nobody in the Great White
North is complaining.

NANOOKS
Continued from Page 11
Justin Clark chipped in with his second
goal of the night and the season.
"A game like this will give guys like
(Clark) a lot of confidence." Botterill
said. "Whenever you can have everyone
contributing like that, we can be a dead
ly team."
Despite Michigan's offensive show, it
was the defense that shut out the
Nanooks.
After Luhning scored early, junior
Bill Muckalt assisted on the second goal
of the game and then scored one of his
own to give Michigan a 3-0 lead.
Both of Michigan's second-period
goals came on the power play. With an
assist, Brendan Morrison upped his sea
son total to a career-high 77 points.
Friday night, it took the Wolverines a
little longer to put away the Nanooks..
The Wolverines struck first just 49
seconds into the first period when, on
the power play, Muckalt scored from the

Playoffs pass

SAULT STE. MARIE (AP) - Brett Punchard had three goals and
Curtis Fry scored twice as fifth-seeded Bowling Green beat fourth-
oo A M C,...i..., s.."^ 2Ara. , cu ptt', theirCCHA A tiour-

WesternP
Cardwell sc
Westemru

IA campuses
Michigan (14-18-5) cut the score to 2-1 when Justin
ored at 16:48 of the second period.
nlle gioalie Matt Barnes with 55 seconds left for a sixth

Vi

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